Park on Whaletown Rd and keep your eye out for the “you are here” maps around the commons area. This gentle trail network runs to and alongside the Whaletown Creek gully where you’ll find lush green fern bottoms and some magnificent old growth trees. This parcel of land, currently owned by private logging interest, is the center of the Whaletown area. The Whaletown Commons Society in collaboration with the Strathcona Regional district has been investigating community purchase options.
Access: North side of Whaletown Road, right next to the volunteer fire department.
Estimated Walking Time: 30 mins – 1.5 hours
Don’t miss: The bench at the foot of the old-growth cedar by Whaletown Creek.
Latest updates about the Whaletown Commons hike:
27 September 2016: “Please note that there is no public access to Olmsted Road via Whaletown Commons. The dotted line on some maps goes through private property and should not be used for hiking. Thank you for your co-operation.”
View Cortes Island Forests in a larger map
Explore Cortes Island Hiking Trails
Easily accessible from Whaletown Road, the Whaletown Commons offers several short loop hikes through dense, verdant forest populated by several beautiful old growth cedars along Whaletown Creek. It’s the perfect place for an easy walk, especially with children.
A broad swath of land across the northwest of Cortes Island, the Children’s Forest stretches from Whaletown to Carrington Bay. It’s lined with logging roads and hiking trails — quiet and perfect for a half-day walk (or even longer).
Grandmother Grove sits at the southern end of Carrington Bay, where the sand disappears into the mouth of a stream surrounded by tall spruce and dense ferns. One of the most beautiful and accessible of Cortes Island’s day hikes.
Kw’as Park, stretching between Hague Lake and Gunflint Lake, has more than 170 acres of hiking trails through old growth cedar, spruce groves, and bluffs with pine and manzanita. Wildlife is often spotted in the park. With so many trails, Kw’as Park is the perfect forest to explore.
The Siskin Lane Forest is a 13 acre park that was donated to the Comox-Strathcona Regional District, to be managed in partnership with the Cortes community. A conservation covenant held by The Land Conservancy of BC prohibits any timber harvesting or development to protect the park’s ecological values in perpetuity. A network of well-kept trails runs through the park, a perfect spot to walk and explore.
This undeveloped marine wilderness park encompasses lakes, estuaries, a salt water lagoon and the old-growth forest Coast-Salish First nations call “Ha’thayim”. Wilderness camping is permitted and the area is popular with cruising boats seeking remote tranquility in this beautiful area. Opportunities for wildlife viewing, camping, hiking and exploration exist in this rugged park, which features reversing tidal rapids, steep-sided fjords and tidal flats within its boundaries.